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Gerald Rafftery

May 20, 1923 - February 09, 2015

Funeral Service

February 14, 2015 1:00 P.M.

Bethlehem Lutheran Church, Fargo North Dakota.


February 14, 2015
12:00P.M. - 1:00 P.M.

Bethlehem Lutheran Church, Fargo



Gerald Rafftery

May 20, 1923 - February 09, 2015


Gerald “Gerry” Rafftery, age 91, of Fargo, North Dakota, passed away at home on February 9, 2015, with family by his side.

Gerry was born May 20, 1923, in St. Paul, Minnesota. He served in the Navy during World War II and graduated with a journalism degree from Macalester College. On July 3, 1948 he was united in marriage to Eleanor Olson at St. Luke’s in St. Paul, MN.

Gerry began working in Fargo in 1950 with the Associated Press. Shortly thereafter he joined the staff at The Fargo Forum until his retirement in 1986. Over the years he served in a number of capacities such as sports writer, outdoor writer, wire editor, and Sunday editor. He wrote a fishing column for more than 20 years. Gerry was a charter member of Muskies, Inc. and was inducted into the North Dakota Fishing Hall of Fame in 1983. Gerry was also a member of Bethlehem Lutheran Church.

Gerry is preceded in death by his wife, Eleanor; and brothers, James and Donald. He is survived by his son Gerry Rafftery (Cher), of White Bear Lake; and daughters Ellen Tillman (Jim) of Fargo, and Jan Kahnke (Jerome) of St. Paul. In addition, he is survived by eight grandchildren (Shannon, Megan, Derek, Trevor, Ben, Sarah, Taylor and Mackenzie), and eight great-grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to Bethlehem Lutheran Church, American Cancer Society, or donor’s choice.


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8 responses to “Gerald Rafftery”

  1. Deb Arends Pedersen says:

    I’m sure I met your father through Muskies, Inc. back in the ’70’s, or through my father who went fishing often with Jerry. Jerry wrote a few articles about their days on the water and some of the big Muskies Dad caught. But I really got to know Jerry from our days in rehab! He was such a handsome man, full of energy and he had a great sense of humor. I only met your mother once and that was when they both came to a rehab picnic. They had total devotion to one another! They are now together again.

  2. betty dobervich says:

    I have known Gerry and Eleanor since 1970. The three of us had so much fun playing cards, especially when Ger would get colorful. I miss Eleanor so much and know I will miss Gerry as well. My heart goes out to the family. Remember Gerry with smiles and laughter as I know that is how he will remember you. Thanks Gerry for many wonderful years of friendship.

  3. Jack and Kay Kern says:

    With much sympathy to Gerry’s family.

  4. Evie Roehl says:

    Ellen and family, I am sorry to hear of your Dad’s passing, the loss of parent is a difficult thing.
    It has been 40+ years since we roomed together at Birch Hall and by some infinite power I happened to read the Forum obits this AM and my memory was jogged with the name. I do hope you are doing well in this time of loss.

  5. Sheryl Lohman DeConcini says:

    Please know how much your father’s friendship meant to my dad!! I’m afraid that he is going to be lost without his daily phone calls and lunches with his dear friend, Gerry. We are so very sorry for the loss of your wonderful father and grandfather and our father’s kind and loyal friend. We are thinking of you as you remember Gerry’s life and mourn his passing.

    much love from the entire Lohman family

  6. Gary and Deb Korsgaden says:

    A lot of words can be said about Gerry Rafftery but two stand out in my mind honesty and integrity. Fishing was our first connection and from that a long lasting friendship evolved. Gerry and I had many great fishing trips over the years. Those hours on the water, I realized how much Gerry loved, Eleanor, Gerry, Ellen and Jan truly having a place in his heart. He was so proud of each and every one of them. The grandchildren brought a special twinkle to Gerry’s eyes too a twinkle only loving grandchildren can bring. Gerry loved and cared for them deeply. Gerry taught me a lot about life from a man that truly cared and respected the outdoor experience. After one Canadian fishing trip he was nick named “grey eagle” and always laughed when we called him that. The world is a better place because of Gerry Raftery. Till we meet again thanks for the memories and rest in peace.

  7. Dan and Debby Heller says:

    We send our sympathy to the family and are keeping them in our prayers.

  8. Luong and Tonnu Vu says:

    With most heartfelt condolences to Jan and Jerome’s family. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this difficult time.

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